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Psychology does not speak the language of statistics very well

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… which is why it isn’t really a science.

From Tim Hartsfield at RealClearScience:

Statistics Shows Psychology Is Not Science

Alex [Berezow] and I have previously detailed what we believe are the requirements for calling a field of study science: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled conditions, reproducibility, and finally, predictability and testability.

The failure of psychology (and indeed many other so-called social “sciences”) to meet these criteria often manifests as an obvious symptom: lousy statistics. Statistics is just a language. Like other languages it can be harnessed to express logical points in a consistent way, or it can demonstrate poorly reasoned ideas in a sloppy way.

Statistical studies in psychology limp off the runway wounded by poor quantifiability, take further damage from imprecise conditions and measurements, and finally crash and burn due to a breakdown of reproducibility. More.

It often goes beyond failure. Social scientists are overwhelmingly of a progressive mindset and choose to lose rather than broaden their base in order to be more representative.

All that said, one wonders if, under the influence of post-modernism, the hard science will end up going down the same path. Hartsfield says no, but then there is modern cosmology.

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See also: If peer review is working, why all the retractions?

and

Japanese U’s shedding liberal arts departments

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One Reply to “Psychology does not speak the language of statistics very well

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    As well documented on UD it is very poorly done. Yet is it worse then evolutionary biology? Probably but thats saying how bad it is and not that its not that bad.
    Another shot at this from folks that should be on their side.
    HMM.
    I think they really are embarrassed by this Psychology stuff and don’t want it too discredit everyone. Yet it does discredit everyone. These pysch folks are only a bit worse then bio evolutionists.
    It is all bad methodology and that for over a century or so.
    They just wanted evolution to be true to have intelligent answers for how things became created.

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